Kumail Nanjiani has made it clear that he’s using his role as Kingo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals to prove a point. As the first major South Asian superhero to be seen in a blockbuster movie, the actor and comedian wants to blow away any preconceptions audiences may have in their heads.
The star has been open about wanting to change the paradigm of how Hollywood casts people of similar descent, lamenting the fact that so many auditions or casting calls have them reduced to either “nerds or terrorists”. While he was under no obligation to do so, Nanjiani got insanely jacked for Eternals, so much so that he nearly broke the internet when the pictures first appeared online.
His reasoning was sound; he wanted to ensure that Kingo looked like someone who could go toe-to-toe with Thor or Captain America, and he definitely pulled that off. However, during a set visit when Eternals was shooting via ScreenRant, producer Nate Moore admitted that he asked Nanjiani to rein it back just a touch.
“I will say this because this is the truth, we were like, “Hey Kumail don’t worry about it. You don’t have to get in a ton, like this isn’t the movie where we have to work out a ton’. But he wanted to do it and he got at some point I had to call him said, ‘Kumail I think you got too big’. Because we saw him I think on Kimmel or something. He’s a movie star. He’s not a bodybuilder and we had to pull Kumail back. He was so excited to be in the movie he was just invested, but yeah, he got big. I’ve been in the gym with him it is very intimidating.”
Once shooting wrapped, maybe he went home and gorged on all the things he’d cut out of his diet to get into such alarmingly vascular shape, or maybe this is just what Kumail Nanjiani will look like for the rest of his career. Either way, he’ll be more than ready when the time comes for Eternals to drop in that contractually obligated shirtless scene.